Monthly Archives: June 2016

Census Bureau Publishes 2020 Census Residence Criteria: Prisoner Reallocation Data Improved

Today, the U.S. Census Bureau  published proposed “2020 Census Residence Rule and Residence Situations” in the Federal Register and are available at <>. 

The residence criteria are used to determine where people are counted during each decennial census. This data is critical for redistricting as it determines how  prisoners, students, overseas military and civilian government personnel, homeless, visitors and so many other classes of people  are counted on Census Day, 2020.

Of major importance is a change to the way prison population are reported. After the 2010 census, New York, Maryland  and Delaware enacted laws to reassign prisoner populations to “homes of record” before incarceration (Delaware delayed implementation until 2020). California now plans to reassign prisoners after 2020.

Today’s proposed rules  represent a major step forward to assist states with prisoner reassignments for redistricting:

The Census Bureau plans to offer a product that states can request, in order to assist them in their goals of reallocating their own prisoner population counts. Any state that requests this product will be required to submit a data file (indicating where each prisoner was incarcerated on Census Day, as well as their pre-incarceration address) in a specified format. The Census Bureau will review the submitted file and, if it includes the necessary data, provide a product that contains supplemental information the state can use to construct alternative within-state tabulations for its own purposes. However, the Census Bureau will not use the information in this product to make any changes to the official decennial census counts.

The Census Bureau also plans to provide group quarters data after the 2020 Census sooner than it was provided after the 2010 Census. For the 2010 Census, the Census Bureau released the Advance Group Quarters Summary File showing the seven major types of group quarters, including correctional facilities for adults and juvenile facilities. This early  [3] release of data on the group quarters population was beneficial to many data users, including those in the redistricting community who must consider whether to include or exclude certain populations when redrawing boundaries as a result of state legislation. The Census Bureau is planning to incorporate similar group quarters information in the standard Redistricting Data (Pub. L. 94-171) Summary File for 2020.”




The  Bureau  welcomes written comments, which can be emailed to

or mailed to Karen Humes, Chief, Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 6H174, Washington, DC 20233.  Comments must be received in writing by August 1, 2016.

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Ballot Troubles Hindered Voting In Columbia County

The Columbia County Board Of Elections had to issue a statement about voting problems before polls closed. As reported in Michaela Kilgallen’s Times Union reporting:

“It was discovered today that the ballots issued in the Republican primary for the 19th CD were erroneously issued with Bob Bishop’s name as a choice to select. Mr. Bishop is no longer a candidate in this race.

The board immediately issued new correct ballots which began being disseminated to poll sites by 2pm. All poll sites have the correct ballot. It’s important to note that the voting machines were properly programmed and tested using the correct ballot, and are accepting the correct ballot without issue. Approximately 800, an average of 15-20 ballots per election district (there are 51 districts), of the incorrect ballots were voted. These ballots were properly placed in the emergency ballot receptacle, and they will be unofficially canvassed at the poll sites tonightper election law. A very few ballots were scanned in the machine. All ballots will be hand counted beginningThursday according to the board’s previously announced schedule, and in accordance with its usual procedure.”

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Federal Court To Hear Pidot 3rd C.D. Challenge Wednesday

Federal District Court  Judge Joseph Bianco will hear plaintiff Philip Pidot argue against certifying a Republican candidate to run in November   for the 3rd congressional district on Wednesday morning. The hearing will be at 10:45 in the Central Islip federal courthouse.

Pidot filed sufficient signatures to run in today’s primary but the lateness of his appeal prevented him from appearing on the ballot.

The order can be read here: PIidot_osc

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Fixing City’s ‘Non-Functioning’ Board Of Elections Relies On State

In the Gotham Gazette, Meg O’Connor goes into great depth taking a look at New York City’s dysfunctional Board Of Elections, the problems, causes and suggested reforms. It’s a thorough article and gets to the root of historic and ongoing problems. A must read for a rainy federal primary day!

An excerpt: “Many eyes will be on the New York City Board of Elections come Tuesday as New Yorkers head to the polls for the second time this year, casting their votes in congressional primaries. The first election, April’s presidential primaries, was so problematic it prompted multiple city and state authorities to launch investigations into the city BOE and caused Mayor Bill de Blasio to offer an extra $20 million in funding for the agency, conditional upon the enactment of certain reforms.

Because of the structure of the law, the Mayor cannot make structural reforms at the BOE. “We need a state law change,” de Blasio said during a June 23 appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show when asked by a caller how to get rid of the “corrupt system” at the BOE. “We can no longer have a BOE that is run unprofessionally and in an outdated way…this is a non-functioning part of our democracy.”

The BOE is comprised of ten commissioners, five from each of the two major political parties, two from each borough, who are (traditionally) appointed by the county party chairs and approved by the City Council. The commissioners then appoint staff to the city’s BOE and have authority over all city BOE employees, including the executive director, currently Michael Ryan.

“I wish it was a pure city agency. If it was under my power, I would tear it down the current reality and start over,” de Blasio added on WNYC, calling the failures of the April 19 primary “pure incompetence” on the part of the BOE. “We literally need to make the BOE closer to other city agencies so the executive director should run it and have the power to put in modern management approaches and have accountability.”


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Today Is Congressional Primary Day. What’s Happening?

In the Times Union, Matt Hamilton provides a statewide overview of today’s congressional primary races:

“Welcome to the second of three primary days (and four total election days) of the year.

Polls in New York City and its suburbs open at 6 a.m. Polls everywhere north of Putnam and Orange counties open at noon. All polls remain open until 9 p.m. If you run into problems at the polls, the state attorney general’s office has set up a complaint line at 1-800-771-7755 or”

New York is holding several primaries this year: for presidential convention delegates, Congress, and the state legislature (plus other local offices). Today’s primary date was set by a federal judge after the legislature failed to agree on a date. The judge selected a June date in order to comply with federal military overseas voting requirements.




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Have It Both Ways? Espaillat Asks for Federal Monitors And Seeks to Suppress White & Black Vote?

Ken Lovett reports in the Daily News how an PAC supporting the Espaillat congressional candidacy can help suppress the white and Black vote to improve the Hispanic candidates chances:

“A super PAC supporting state Sen. Adriano Espaillat in Tuesday’s Democratic congressional primary for retiring Rep. Charles Rangel’s seat suggests suppression of white and black voters can help the Dominican-born candidate win, the Daily News has learned.

The 11th-hour message delivered via email on June 21 to potential PAC donors came the same week that Espaillat called for federal monitoring of the polls on primary day to ensure there is no voter suppression efforts, particularly against Hispanics.

The email sent to potential donors by Chad Proudlock, co-founder of the Stronger Together NYC political action committee that is supporting Espaillat, outlines why negative campaign literature and a strong get out the vote program is essential for victory over chief rival Assemblyman Keith Wright.”

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Hispanics Were More Likely To Be Scratched In Brooklyn Voter Purge

From Ryan Grenoble in the Huffington Post: “In two incidents last summer, more than 122,000 Democrats in the borough of Brooklyn had their names scratched from New York City’s list of registered voters. Following a public outcry after the purge was uncovered in April ahead of the Democratic primary, officials categorized it as routine maintenance inexplicably gone awry.

Now, according to data published Tuesday by WNYC, it seems the “routine maintenance” disproportionately affected Hispanics, with voters in predominantly Hispanic districts purged from the election rolls 60 percent more often than anyone else.

Per the WNYC investigation, 13.9 percent of voters in predominantly Hispanic districts saw their names removed from the rolls, while in all other districts, the purge affected just 8.7 percent of voters.”

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Philip Pidot Bid For Congressional Primary Ballot ‘Impossible,’ Judge Says

In Newsday, Paul LaRocco reports “a state Supreme Court justice ruled out the possibility of a Republican primary Tuesday in the 3rd Congressional District, despite validating the candidacy of a challenger.

Justice Arthur Diamond issued a written decision Friday that said Philip Pidot had enough petition signatures to qualify for a primary against the GOP-backed candidate, state Sen. Jack M. Martins.

But Diamond denied Pidot’s requests to compel the state Board of Elections to certify and print June 28 ballots as “impossible,” given the short timeline.”

A copy of the decision can be read here: 160624 decision


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NYC Voter Assistance Advisory Committee To Meet June 29

The next public meeting of the New York City Voter Assistance Advisory Committee (VAAC) will be held at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, June 29, at the offices of the Campaign Finance Board, 100 Church Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10007. 

If you plan to attend and speak, or to submit written testimony, please RSVP by email to Sabrina Juarez at or by phone at 212-409-1843. Building security requires all visitors to provide photo identification before entering. 

Sign language interpretation is available. Please email by the close of business on Tuesday, June 28,  if you plan to attend the meeting and require sign language interpretation. 

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Arthur “Jerry” Kremer: Constitutional Convention Would Be Boondoggle

In Newsday, Yancey Roy reports on former State Assembly Ways & Means Chair Arthur “Jerry” Kremer’s opposition to holding a state constitutional convention. He reports that “a state constitutional convention would be a taxpayers’ boondoggle that would result in “little to no value” to most New Yorkers, a former state assemblyman from Long Island contends.

Arthur “Jerry” Kremer makes the claim in a new book he titled “Patronage, Waste and Favoritism: A Dark History of Constitutional Conventions,” which makes his case on why New Yorkers should vote “no” in 2017 on whether to hold a convention to potentially change the state’s constitution. (By law the state must vote at least every 20 years on holding such a convention. It was voted down in 1997, the last vote.)”

Roy closes with a different view:

“A constitutional convention “is the only viable path to real lasting reform for New York state government,” Gerald Benjamin, a political scientist at the State University of New York at New Paltz and a longtime state politics observer, has said. “Political and personal self-interest of those in power in Albany has blocked serious reform for decades.”

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